The duo made up by David Lamb and MorganEve Swain was one of our most unexpected favorites in Newport in July. The band’s previous albums are straight up folk with modernly lyrics, as is Salt for Salt, based on an early listen. Unlike most duos, there’s an intensity and stage presence that keeps the easily bored engaged past five songs. Guitar, banjo, violin, double bass, cello, and bass drum are among the instruments passing between the two, with Lamb playing multiple instruments at once (kick drum and woodblock/tambourine rig make that possible). Lyrics are loaded with traditional folk themes of faith and sadness as well as numerous references to ships. According to his publicist, Lamb’s spent years working at a shipyard in Warren, RI and even lived on a boat, but recently dropped his day job to focus on the band. Swain, a lifelong violinist, also plays the cello and double bass, each of which she picked up in the past two years.
Here’s a video shot backstage at Newport by Boston Phoenix.